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Post Office scandal: Unveiling the untold tales of Horizon’s victims.

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TLDR:

  • More than 700 Post Office branch managers were wrongly convicted of theft due to faulty Horizon accounting software.
  • Only 93 convictions have been overturned so far, leading to renewed scrutiny of the scandal.

The Post Office scandal, in which hundreds of branch managers were wrongly convicted of theft due to faulty accounting software, has come under renewed scrutiny following a TV drama. The Horizon software, developed by Fujitsu, made it appear as though money was missing from the branches, leading to criminal convictions for the managers. Justice Secretary Alex Chalk and postal minister Kevin Hollinrake will be discussing the scandal in the wake of renewed attention caused by the ITV drama “Mr Bates Vs The Post Office.” The drama has shed light on the devastating impact that the scandal has had on the lives of those affected.

One victim of the scandal, Noel Thomas, had his conviction of false accounting overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2021. In the TV drama, Thomas was played by actor Ifan Huw Dafydd. Seema Misra, another wrongly convicted individual, was initially found guilty of stealing £75,000 and was later exonerated by the Court of Appeal. She described her experience in prison as the worst of her life and expressed disbelief that such a thing could happen to her in the modern world.

Another victim, Jo Hamilton, described feeling backed into a corner and pressured to plead guilty. She feared going to prison and said that the experience was terrifying. Martin Griffiths, a father of two, took his own life as a result of the pressure and pursuit by the Post Office. Baljit Sethi, who ran a post office for 22 years until he was sacked over account shortfalls, considered suicide during the ordeal. Lee Castleton, a former sub-postmaster, noticed discrepancies in the computer system and ended up bankrupted and torn apart from his family as a result of the Post Office’s demands for repayment.

The victims of the Post Office scandal have endured years of hardship and trauma due to the faulty accounting software and the subsequent criminal convictions. The scandal highlights the need for justice and accountability for those responsible, as well as the importance of ensuring that innocent individuals are not wrongly convicted in the future.

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